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Island couple allegedly find broken glass in barbecue sauce

Tignish resident Jerry Cobham displays a bag containing clear fragments resembling glass which he says his partner discovered in the Diana sauce she spread on her plate. (Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer)
Tignish resident Jerry Cobham displays a bag containing clear fragments resembling glass which he says his partner discovered in the Diana sauce she spread on her plate. (Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer)

TIGNISH, P.E.I. - Something just didn't feel right to Crystal Broomer when she bit into a piece of pork chop last week.

Upon removing the meat, she found a clear fragment, resembling a small piece of glass.

Broomer, her partner Jerry Cobham and their 17-month-old toddler had just sat down to their evening meal. Cobham was having fish; Broomer and their toddler were having the pork chops.

Broomer had added some Diana barbecue sauce to her plate and dipped the pork chop into the sauce.

"When she put her finger in the sauce - she had spread some on her plate, not on the food - she stuck her finger in and found six more pieces in the sauce," Cobham recounted.

For about a month to a month and a half, the sauce had sat in the cupboard of their Tignish home unopened. Cobham said the safety seal was in place and intact until their Friday, Nov. 10 meal.

In all, seven fragments were found in that first squirt from the plastic bottle.

The couple was so concerned that they consulted a doctor on Nov. 11.

They were reassured that if any fragments were swallowed they'd likely pass without causing harm. They were pleased, though, that their child had not ingested any of the sauce. The doctor, Broomer said, pressed down on the fragments they displayed and agreed they resembled glass.

Tignish resident Jerry Cobham displays a bag containing clear fragments resembling glass which he says his partner discovered in the Diana sauce she spread on her plate. (Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer)
Tignish resident Jerry Cobham displays a bag containing clear fragments resembling glass which he says his partner discovered in the Diana sauce she spread on her plate. (Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer)

Cobham and Broomer have since contacted both the manufacturer, Kraft Heinz, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with their concern.

An official from CFIA visited their home on Thursday and collected the bottle and its contents as well as a bag containing the clear fragments and the bottle's seal.

Av Maharaj, vice-president of corporate and legal affairs for Kraft Heinz Canada, said the company takes such concerns very seriously and will work with the CFIA to have the matter investigated to determine what the fragments are.

He said there have been occasions where crystalized sugar and crystalized milk by-products have been confused for glass.

Broomer and Cobham have considered the possibility that the fragments might be something other than glass. For now, they just want to find out what's in the bottle.

Cobham said some people had suggested they run the rest of the bottle through a strainer to see if there are more fragments, but they've decided to leave it to CFIA to figure out.

"I don't want to tamper with the bottle. I just want to leave it the way it was and tell the people, this is exactly how it happened," said Cobham.

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